Anton Webern used Arnold Schönberg’s twelve-tone approach


One of FZ's favorite composers;Anton Webern


Anton Webern born Dec. 3, 1883, to Carl Von Webern and Amelie -a pianist and a recognized vocalists inVienna, Austria, died Sept. 15, 1945, shot dead by mistake by an American soldier while he was staying in his daughter’s home in Mittersil, Austria.

Webern was an Austrian conductor and composer of the 12-tone Viennese school. He is recognized especially for his passacaglia for orchestra, his chamber music, and numerous songs. He is name-checked on the cover of "Freak Out!" (1966) considering that he was one of FZ's favorite composers. He is also pointed out in "The Real Frank Zappa Book" (1989).

His first compositions, Two Pieces for Cello and Piano (1899) and several tunes, date from the Klagenfurt time. As a student, significant follower of, and influence on Arnold Schönberg Webern used twelve-tone method first in his Kinderstück for piano, using the serial technique after that for all further compositions (opuses 17-31) and developing it with severe consistency to its most extreme potential. The instrumental works during that time (opuses 20, 21, 22, 24, 27, 28, 30) are governed by demanding formal discipline.





In 1902, after graduation from the Klagenfurt Humanistisches Gymnasium, he attended performances of Wagner operas at the Bayreuth Festival, and these left an intense effect on the young musician. That fall, he entered the University of Vienna, studying musicology and composition.

Anton completed his doctorate on the works of Heirich Adler in 1906 at the University of Vienna. Together with their colleague Alban Berg, Webern and Schönberg started what nowadays is known as the "Neo-Viennese" school of serial composition which has had such a drastic impact upon the development of 20th century music.

From the time span of 1908 to 1914 he held work as coach and theatre conductor in Germany and Vienna, Ischl, Innsbruck, Teplitz, Danzig, and Stettin.

In 1911 Anton married Wilhelmine Mörtl, the child of his mother’s sister. Because of the Roman Catholic prohibition of the relationship of first cousins, the relationship was solemnized only in 1915, after three of the couple’s four children had already been born. His marriage brought about constancy to his frustrating life.
Webern, while deeply religious in a pantheistic sense, was averse to church dogma, rejecting the priest’s position as intermediary between God and humanity.


After a final theatre season in Prague (1917-18), he settled in Mödling, near Vienna, instructing privately and acting as team leader for the Schönberg-founded Society for Private Musical Performances (1918-22). In 1924, Schönberg developed the 12-tone method of composition--the system where a basic "row," created from the 12 independent tones of the chromatic scale, is utilized melodically and harmonically through the devices of inversion, retrograde progression, and transposition, allowing for a complete of 48 options in which the chosen row may appear.


conductor and composer; Webern


Though not a prolific composer, the influence of his works on the later composers was enormous. There were hardly thirty one of his compositions that were published during his life. His works, which used Arnold Schönberg’s twelve-tone approach, had a textual clarity connected with it and an mental coolness, which greatly affected composers.

Anton Webern used Arnold Schönberg’s twelve-tone approach Anton Webern used Arnold Schönberg’s twelve-tone approach Reviewed by Klemen Hlupič on 01:53 Rating: 5

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